I’m having a little trouble closing the gap between these two threads.
First we have VADM McCoy, commander of NAVSEA on the standing up of the Surface Ship Life Cycle Management (SSLCM) Activity.
“SSLCM Activity will execute the complex task of maximizing the material readiness of our current Fleet by ensuring each and every ship in our inventory is ready to respond to their missions today, tomorrow, and well into the 21st century,” said Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander of NAVSEA. “And as we continue to build our future Fleet, particularly as our Littoral Combat Ships come online, every newly commissioned ship will be meticulously tracked right out of the gate to ensure our warfighters, our taxpayers and our nation get the most out of these national assets.”
SSLCM was described last month as,
The Navy’s first office dedicated to keeping ships around as long as possible will stand up at East and West Coast waterfronts by early May and begin to provide details for how to get the most good our of the fleet.
The Surface Ship Life Cycle Management Activity, which will fall under the aegis of Naval Sea Systems Command, will determine the best ways for ships to reach their full service lives ….
Ok. Got it. Now, I want everyone to think about what it takes every day, by every Sailor, on every ship, through every tour, by the sweat of their hard work and the puzzl’n of their puzzler to make a ship give the taxpayer every year out of her she can give.
Now I want you to ponder this quote from the CNO.
[about LCS] We need to think of the best way to operate the ship and maintain the ship with 40 people and not being overly consumed with cosmetics. Cosmetics are man-hours.
I don’t like anything that creates work.
I’m sorry, but without even going into the ability to sustain extended days to weeks of combat watches, damage control and other, ahem, mildly important things Sailors do on ships – how do we stop premature material degradation of our ships if we plan to have dirty ill-maintained ships?
This is much more than “If it moves, salute it. If it doesn’t, paint it.” – much more than cosmetics. No, it is a mindset that goes in the face of everything we have learned through centuries of putting Sailors and ships to sea. Back in the day, even in mostly fully manned ships with neat little things like Destroyer Tenders – keeping things going on long in the tooth ships was a challenge from both a material and mechanical point of view. We know that. Today it is a challenge – just looked what we did to the SPRUANCE Class – most of us can tell stories of the “Big E” and the labor of love she has been.
Back on my home blog, Byron made a point only a Shipfitter could.
Today’s maintenance philosophy:
You buy your car. You get all your co-workers to wash it and wax it every day. You never, ever let it get near a shop to change the oil or any other maintenance. When you see a rust hole in your car, you put 18 coats of thick paint on it. Keep driving. Keep waxing. When it (as you know it will) breaks down you have all your co-workers write dozens of repair requests, making sure that all of them say “request outside repair activity perform repairs”. Park your car on the side of the street. Let dozens of highly skilled repair personnel to walk around, jack your car up, take the doors off, turn off the electricity and air conditioning in your home, and 2 months later, send you a bill somewhere north of 3 million.
Sounds like a plan to me.
What if you don’t have anyone to wash it, wax it, or paint over it?
Help me out with two things. First, How do we bridge this gap between the SSLCM’s charter and the “40-sump’n folks” CNO question? Second, how have we found ourselves well into the third trimester of LCS’s development (IMAO, the birth is complete once the thing leaves for its first deployment) and the CNO even asks such a question?
“We need to think of the best way to operate the ship and maintain the ship with 40 people….”
The fact that the question is still floating out there should give everyone pause. This program is well past the PPT stage …..